I made a conscious decision in the early 1980s not to actively seek out literature or movies, or any material for that matter, that dealt with war.
By about 1983, my tender soul screamed that I had engaged ENOUGH with this subject through various media:
Schindler’s List (Ark as book was originally published in Australia) by Thomas Keneally
Sophie’s Choice book by William Styron and movie starring Meryl Streep
Holocaust TV miniseries starring Meryl Streep
The Deer Hunter movie starring Robert de Niro
Gallipoli the Australian movie directed by Peter Weir
That was it–war was ugly and confronting and while I recognised that it has always been part of our history, I didn’t need to submit my senses to repeated reminders.
In the years since, I haven’t watched movies such as Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Last of the Mohicans, Braveheart.
War books, movies, miniseries, they were all no-go-zones for me from here on.
While I managed to stay true to my decision for a long time, participating in book groups for this past decade, challenged this choice. Well to be accurate, these books slipped in, like, ‘under the radar’ of my war literature evasion.
Japanese subterfuge in World War II nearly caused the Americans to lose the war. Literary subterfuge has nearly caused me to lose my determination about the media exclusion zone.
These books I’m referring to weren’t about war…they were about zoos, girls who work in post offices, books and about boys playing in their pyjamas! Weren’t they?
Apparently not. Let me tell you all about them, tomorrow.
Ps. Just between you and me, a couple of movies were knowingly allowed under the radar, Schindler’s List, of course, in 1993, The English Patient, Saving Private Ryan and the Australian movie Beneath Hill 60.